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[review] Positive Grid BIAS Distortion - Tone Match Distortion Pedal (by LievenDV)

First impression

I bought the BIAS distortion a couple of months ago because this unit seemed to cover most of my overdrive and most of all: distortion needs.

Intrigued by the hardware+software combo that allows users to store more than enough presets in many different flavors of distortion, I decided to invest. The unit isn't cheap but this baby could replace my complete drive section. It isn't small either but way more handy than having a bunch of cables and pedals all wired together. The ability to edit the presets in an interface that didn't make me throw up was a refreshing experience for a change.

I found out that trying to copy/paste a whole bunch of pedals to a programmable distortion pedal is a cool concept but the platform is just as useful for people like me, who don't care about sounding like guitarist X or band Y. I want to build my own sounds and I'm glad I can.

Positive Grid BIAS DistortionThis is not your typical multi-effect pedal where you build a chain with a distortion, delay, reverb, chorus etc. from a list and you turn the knobs.

You only get to do the drive/distortion part but you can you in so much detail! Start from a preset and get to work in the different stages. You can add up to two EQ's between the stages you like to shape even more in-between. It's interesting to hear how rolling off or boosting frequencies makes the next stage respond completely different. The interface of the software is fun to work with and might seem a bit "fluffy" to hardcore techies but don't be fooled by looks; editing the chain will keep you tweaking that certain preset to what you like.

Nice touch, you can provide the face plate of your virtual pedal with custom artwork you can import.

The unit offers 2 banks with 10 presets each. Most of them have names on the physical unit but that doesn't matter, you can put anything you like in there.

You assign virtual pedals to the hardware pedal simply by a drag-and-drop in the software. On the hardware pedal you can easily decide which pedals you want under the 3 preset slots that can be accessed with the footswitches.

[review] Caroline Guitar Company Kilobyte - Lo-Fi Delay (by Bieke)

Caroline Guitar Company was founded in 2010 by guitarist Philippe Herndon. He first started modding pedals and later on decided to start a pedal business. From then on, everything Caroline Guitar Company released were original circuits and unique pedals, targeted towards guitarists in search of exciting sounds. Every Caroline pedal is handmade at their small batch distortery in Columbia, South Carolina. Currently, the range consists of the Haymaker overdrive, the Olympia fuzz, the Icarus booster, the Wave Cannon and Cannonball distortions, the Météore reverb and last but not least the Kilobyte Lo-Fi digital delay. Development of the Kilobyte was crowdfunded and the pedal was already released in 2013. So without further delay, here’s my Kilobyte review.

The Looks

Some Kilobytes are black some are light blue or grey and there also is a retro 64 style Kilobyte design.

The one I got from Bart is black with gold lettering, In and mono Out and a 9V DC plug on the front panel, black MXR style knobs with clear white markers with enigmatic icons next to the controls. The controls are Level, Attack, Sum and Clock and Tacos, a small minipot in the middle for modulation. The original Kilobyte had this pot hidden on the inside. There are two footswitches, on the right is a momentary switch that engages the Havoc mode and on the left, there is a true bypass On/Off switch.

Syd Barrett's fuzz (by nck.s)

With the 50th anniversary of Pink Floyd's psychedelic debut comes a resurging interest in Syd Barrett's equipment and techniques, along with a new generation of commercial entities seeking to profit from all the excitement. What has remained a constant force over the years of discussion has been a handful of rumors and myths that, when repeated often enough by seemingly authoritative figures, almost become fact. With this small piece of writing, I'll be challenging some of the allegations about Syd Barrett's effects pedal habits with facts in the hope that it will help guitarists to make informed decisions about their spending, as well as potentially ease some new historical evidence out of the woodwork. Discussing and criticizing makes for a healthy and knowledgeable community.

 


Selmer pedals

Syd Barrett's alleged use of the Selmer's Buzz Tone and (Fuzz-)Wah is one of the stories perpetuated by the Internet that seems to originate from Julian Palacios' biography, 'Lost in the Woods'. We know the band was using Selmer amplifiers early on, so it's certainly not beyond the realms of possibility that they experimented with the pedals too, or that Selmer may have simply put the group's name in advertising for the pedals that are yet to be digitized in the modern age.

The classic riff from 'Interstellar Overdrive' sounds incendiary when coupled with a Selmer Buzz Tone (or any fuzzbox for that matter), but the following video shows that the sound from the album can be nailed with just the Selmer Treble 'n' Bass amplifier.

I'm satisfied with my original Selmer Buzz Tone (and I'll be happier if it ever comes back from being repaired) but I would very much like to see the proof that this model is even remotely connected to the band. At the moment there is nothing tying the two together.

[review] Red Witch Factotum - Bass Suboctave Drive (by JFHerregat)

Introduction

We have another pedal from New Zealand’s Red Witch Pedals. The pedals are designed by Ben Fulton, founder and creator of Red Witch, and are all analog. Last time I reviewed the Zeus, which was a bass fuzz suboctave. Today I hold it’s brother, the Red Witch Factotum, a bass suboctave drive. It houses the same octaver as the Zeus but has an overdrive instead of the fuzz.

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